How often should you change your air filters?

September 17th, 2012 by

Air filters have a simple – but important – job. They help protect your engine from dirt, dust and grime.

If you don’t change them often enough, they simply won’t be able to do their job. But just how often is often enough?

That’s where things get tricky. Someone who drives primarily on an interstate may be able to get more use out of his or her air filters than someone who lives on a gravel road in the county. There are lots of variables, and it’s impossible to say that every driver should change his or her air filters every so many months or every so many miles.

With that said, we’ve come up with a general rule. For many cars, it’s reasonable to replace air filters at every other oil change. At minimum, ask your service technician to check your filters and see whether they have a few more months left in them.

Remember: There are plenty of benefits. In fact, recent studies suggest that replacing air filters can improve acceleration on fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines by 6 to 11 percent. Not a bad deal, is it?